Food Processing industry
The food processing sector is highly fragmented industry, it widely comprises of the following subsegments: fruits and vegetables, milk and milk products, beer and alcoholic beverages, meat and poultry, marine products, grain processing, packaged or convenience food and packaged drinks. A huge number of entrepreneurs in this industry are small in terms of their production and operations, and are largely concentrated in the unorganized segment. This segment accounts for more than 70% of the output in terms of volume and 50% in terms of value. Though the organized sector seems comparatively small, it is growing at a much faster pace.
The Indian dairy market is largely unorganised in nature and is currently estimated at US$ 47.6 billion, growing at the rate of 7.5 per cent annually. It is predicted that due to growing increase in consumption pattern, rising income and growing consumer purchasing power, the sector would witness strong demand in the future.
India is the world's largest producer, consumer, exporter and importer in spices, with its market size also being the largest globally. The export of spices and spice-based value added products during April-February 2010-11 was US$ 1,323.28 compared to the US$ 1,063.44 in the same period last year.
In order to meet the increasing demand of food, it is imperative to invest in the agri-infrastructure sector as well. Various known players are investing into supply chains, developing cold chain networks and establishing warehouses, for ensuring the preservation of the produce. Further, changes in consumer pattern towards processed foods also indicate towards the need to increase storage capacities. Moreover, the Government is also planning to create 30 mega food parks across the country.
In the recent years, farm mechanisation has witnessed growing importance, which is steadily helping in increasing the land and labour productivity in the country. Mechanical equipments for various farm operations such as sowing, tillage, irrigation, threshing etc are being used by the farmers throughout the country. Even the small farmers are adopting modern technology for efficient management.
Food packing sector
Food packaging in India is also witnessing significant changes, with companies increasingly using it as an important vehicle for product differentiation. With the changes in food consumption patpatterns and demographics, the consumers are increasingly turning towards ready-to-eat and packaged foods. The packaging sector is being driven by trends such as freshness and improved shelf life, convenience of usage, packing to position and promote the brands and sustainability
Marine products in the country have been growing continuously with improvement in productivity and utilisation of untapped resources. Marine exports increased 6.6 per cent in quantity during April-December 2010, crossing the US$ 2 billion mark. This is the first time that the marine exports have crossed US$2 billion in the first nine months of the financial year. According to the latest data on exports, frozen shrimp continued to be the major export item accounting for 48.61 per cent of the total earnings. Shrimp exports during the period increased 12.54 per cent in quantity, 40.72 per cent in dollar terms